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Five player-manager success stories for Kompany to follow

19 Maio 2019 18:54

Vincent Kompany will revive a much-loved football tradition when he leaves Manchester City to become player-manager at his boyhood club Anderlecht.

In the era of head coaches and sporting directors, it is rare to find an individual juggling the rigours of playing at the top level while taking charge of a club, but history offers plenty of successful examples for the Belgium international to follow.

Kompany said he has been promised the time, budget, framework and staff support as he aims to revive a once great club, and Anderlecht's supporters will hope he can maintain the form on the field that saw him play a key role in City's historic treble-winning season.

While City fans wish their heroic captain a fond farewell, we look back at five instances where player-managers transformed the fortunes of clubs who trusted them on and off the field.

Glenn Hoddle (Swindon Town, Chelsea)

Glenn Hoddle was, like Kompany, exactly the kind of footballer you would expect to make a good manager: an astute winner with a visionary streak.

At the end of a superb career with Tottenham, Monaco and England, Hoddle took over as player-manager at Swindon Town where he guided the club away from relegation in his first season and delivered promotion to the Premier League in his second, even scoring in the play-off final as the Robins reached the top flight.

Hoddle further enhanced his reputation as player-manager at Chelsea, turning an unfashionable side into an entertaining outfit and signing top European stars like Ruud Gullit and Dan Petrescu to play his brand of passing football.

Ruud Gullit (Chelsea)

Gullit had a year playing under Hoddle at Chelsea in which he could learn the art of player-management, and the Dutch legend made it look easy, guiding Chelsea to FA Cup glory in his first season in charge – the club's first major trophy in 26 years – while anchoring the Blues' midfield alongside Dennis Wise.

Gullit's star quality on and off the field helped to bring Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo and Gianluca Vialli to the club, and when chairman Ken Bates decided to sack his side's player-manager in February 1998, Chelsea were second in the Premier League and playing their best football in decades.

Bryan Robson (Middlesbrough)

Back in 1994, Bryan Robson was revered as one of the great captains in English football, having led Manchester United to back-to-back Premier League titles.

His ability to inspire teams and lead by example was similar to Kompany's, and Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson pinned his hopes on Robson being the man to usher in a new football era on Teesside.

Robson did just that, helping to bring Juninho, Emerson, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Nick Barmby to Boro as the club established itself in the top flight of English football, while continuing to play until just 10 days before his 40th birthday.

Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)

When Joe Fagan retired in May 1985, Liverpool turned to 34-year-old striker Kenny Dalglish to take the club forward as player-manager.

Dalglish had already helped the club to win five league titles and his golden touch stayed with him as he delivered a league and FA Cup double in his first season in the dual role.

A further two league titles and another FA Cup followed as the Liverpool legend set the standard for player-managers, maintained his form on the field while being highly effective in the dressing room.

Graeme Souness (Rangers)

Rangers had not won the league in nine years and were languishing in fifth place in the table when Graeme Souness was installed as player-manager in 1986.

The Edinburgh-born midfielder was an immediate success, guiding the Gers to a league and League Cup double in in his first season while losing none of the aggression that characterised his playing style.

He was sent off after 34 minutes of his competitive debut against Hibernian, and later admitted his approach to the game "bordered on being out of order", but Rangers were not complaining: Souness won 125 of his 193 league games in charge.

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